Large-scale land interventions are on the rise. Whether through restoration projects such as the new 20x20 initiative and the Bonn Challenge, or foreign direct investment in huge swaths of land, investors are seeing big opportunities in large land projects.
Meanwhile, the health of landscapes is gaining significant attention not only on the agendas of land conservationists and agricultural protectionists, but for companies and governments. The latter groups are realizing the potential returns available, or costs avoided, through investing in the health of the landscapes they manage. Sustainable development of rural landscapes is largely dependent on the nature of these investments.
But what do we know about successful initiatives?
This month the Landscapes for People Food and Nature Blog (LPFN), the International Center for Tropical Research (CIAT), and the Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) are joining forces to promote discussion amongst our partners and readers surrounding the question: Can large-scale land initiatives fulfill their promises?
We want to hear from a variety of sectors in order to better understand and influence investments for large-scale land interventions that affect areas where agriculture is a critical land use.
This online discussion is set in the context of two relevant sessions at the Global Landscapes forum:
WLE and CIAT’s session on December 7th: Creating the conditions for success in large-scale land restoration
We have invited guest authors to respond to the following questions (and more) related to this topic:
What are the conditions for success in large-scale initiatives?
What are the incentives for investment from government, the private sector and farmers?
What institutional arrangements and governance mechanisms are necessary for implementing large-scale programs (especially related to social equity)?
Blog posts will raise controversial issues, propose interesting solutions, call on a wide variety of experience and cases, and bring to light the many pitfalls for large land initiatives we need to avoid. We encourage you to contribute to these discussions in the comments section.
We are also still seeking posts that can contribute to constructive debate. Selected blog posts will be opinionated and solution oriented. We will accept submissions (800 words max) through December 5th, 2014. We also encourage
Making Large Land Initiatives in Africa Work: Policy Reforms that Support Ecosystem-Based Approaches by Richard Munang and Robert Mgendi, United Nations Environment Programme
Global Landscape Restoration: The Art of the “Do-able” by Peter Besseau, The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration
Analog Forestry: Creating Productive Landscapes by Imitating Forest Structure by Adam Kabir Dickinson, International Analog Forestry Network
When it comes to soil, only large-scale land interventions work by Georgina Smith, International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Restoring degraded landscapes not a miracle anymore by Tefera Mengistu, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ethiopia
Lessons from the Shire: Finding innovation by Aloysius Kamperewera, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, Malawi
Too many large-scale schemes have failed to achieve their objectives by David Lamb, University of Queensland
We cannot learn from habitat restoration without funding monitoring by Sasha Jellinek, Center for Excellence for Environmental Decisions
A Gabion named Marcelino: A story of cross-boarder restoration by Tom Barry, Center for International Policy
Building confidence in large-scale land restoration by Deborah Bossio, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
The Private Sector: The least involved in landscape initiatives by Chandni Singh, Bioversity International
One farmer at a time, small-scale restoration goes big by Muhabbat Turdieva and Camilla Zanzanaini, Bioversity International
Bottom up! Linking local plans to the big picture demands by Nadia Bergamini and Camilla Zanzanaini, Bioversity International
Restoring land for conservation or development? by Fred Pearce, freelance journalist
Landscapes: finding common ground between Wall Street and environmentalists by Abby Waldorf, CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems
Balancing competing land use goals by Hans Smit, SNV
Would you like to know the future of the Mekong? by Terry Clayton, freelance writer
Advancing the role of natural regeneration in large-scale forest restoration by Robon Chazdon, PARTNERS
Follow us on Twitter throughout the month and at the Global Landscapes Forum: #ThinkLandscape and #GLFCOP20